The average 401(k) balance is back at the level it was in 2004, according to a report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute—essentially wiping out the past five years of investing.
The median 401(k) balance was $26,578 in June, and the median IRA balance was $28,955, EBRI said. Defined contribution plan balances declined 16.4% from the end of 2007 through June, and IRA balanced declined 15%. At the end of 2007, only 40.6% of American families had at least one member invested in a 401(k) plan. However, 66.2% of families owned at least one IRA.